Carmen Kass was born September 14,
1978, in Tallinn, Estonia. Raised by her mother in Paide, the blue-eyed
brunette won the Miss Paide crown and secured her royal position as Miss
At 14 Carmen was discovered in a supermarket in Tallinn by an Italian
modeling scout. She was ready to set her sights higher and go for the Miss
Estonia title, but the offer to fly to Milan to jump start a modeling
career seemed like a more glamorous and lucrative option. Despite her
mother's disapproval of Carmen being whisked away to Milan, Carmen found a
way to go by forging her mother's signature of approval. Carmen was off to
Milan for the next three months, ready to start her career as one of
After being represented in her native Estonia by a small agency called
Baltic Models, Carmen moved to Paris at the age of 18. There, she received
exposure on the cover of magazines worldwide, namely L'Officiel and Vogue
(France) in 1997, Elle (Australia), Image (UK), Madame Figaro, Numero
France, Vogue (France), and Vogue (US) in 1999.
In 1999, Carmen was one of the fashion runways' hottest commodities. She
strutted down the catwalks for the top designers in the world such as:
Alberta Ferretti, Anna Sui, BCBG, Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Chanel,
Christian Dior, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace,
Gucci, Jill Stuart, MaxMara, Michael Kors, Moschino, Nicole Miller, Prada,
Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Gianni Versace, Louis
Vuitton, and Valentino. She has also posed in advertisements for Calvin
Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, General Motors, Guy Laroche, Krizia, and
Versace. Carmen is presently a spokesperson for Sephora, one of the
world's leading cosmetics retailers, and the Christian Dior perfume,
Presently residing in New York, Carmen has become a staple for the two
biggest American fashion magazines, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Carmen is
represented by "Women" in New York, and "City" in Paris, while she has
reportedly bought part of her first agency, "Baltic Models."
When she's not cuddling up to her public relations/marketing boyfriend,
Richie Akiva, Carmen keeps herself busy with sports and exercise,
horseback riding, obsessively checking her email, and playing chess.
Kass is well-known for her distinctive runway walk. Despite her height,
her feet are small (about an American size seven).
She walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 1999, 2000, 2002,
2003, and 2008.
She has been mistanken for America's Next Top Model's Kahlen Rondot for
In 2004, Kass starred in the Estonian murder-mystery film Täna öösel me ei
maga ("We Won't Sleep Tonight"; titled "Set Point" in the international
In February 2004, she joined Estonia's ruling Res Publica Party. Kass ran
for the European Parliament after her homeland joined the European Union
in May 2004. She won about 2000 votes from the Estonian electorate, but
was not elected to the European Parliament.
Kass plays chess and was elected president of the Estonian National Chess
League in 2004. She ran a campaign to obtain the right to organize the
2008 Chess Olympics in Tallinn; however, that right was given to Dresden,
She is part owner of her mother agency, Baltic Models.
In 2008, Carmen Kass created a SMS loan company called Credit Market in
Estonia. By April 2009, the Estonian media released an article noting that
the company was in financial difficulties and had not paid taxes in
Kass, her sister and brother were raised only by their mother Koidu Põder.
Her older sister Victoria De Luna married singer Joel De Luna. The couple
separated in 2004 after they both were charged and convicted with drug
trafficking. Kass's older brother Kutty Kass is involved in real estate.
Kass has dated Leonardo DiCaprio and restaurant owner Richie Akiva. She is
currently involved with Eric Lobron, a German chess champion.